In Brief

Bournemouth miracle: Eddie Howe's journey to the top flight

The Cherries will play in the Premier League next season, six years after escaping football oblivion

Six years ago Bournemouth were on the brink of oblivion but next season they'll be the newest members of English football's elite. The south coast club clinched promotion to the Premier League on Monday evening with a 3-0 defeat of Bolton to leave an ecstatic chairman Jeff Mostyn to declare they had "achieved the impossible".

The pedant will point out that Bournemouth are not mathematically assured of promotion, but for the Cherries to be denied their place in the Premier League it will require them to lose their final match of the Championship campaign, for third-place Middlesbrough to win theirs and for a 20-goal swing to take place in the process.

That ain't going to happen, so the Bournemouth faithful on Monday night were breathlessly talking about trips next season to Old Trafford, the Emirates and the Bridge and looking forward to welcoming the likes the Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez to the ground with the smallest capacity in Premier League history - just 12,000.

For Mostyn, who in 2009 saved the club from liquidation by writing a £100,000 cheque, the talk was more of the past. "Six years ago we were on the edge of abyss," he told BBC Radio Solent. "We've climbed right through the leagues and into the Premier League. It's just incredible. I don't think anybody, not even the craziest optimist, would ever have thought this was possible."

Bournemouth may have been saved financially back then but they were still expected to slip out of the football league having started the 2008-9 League Two season on minus 17 points because of their fiscal failings. But while Mostyn have done his bit off the pitch, on the field it was 37-year-old manager Eddie Howe who provided the inspiration as he assembled a squad capable of rising through the ranks of English football.

Howe's miracle began when he took over at Dean Court at the end of 2008, and somehow kept the team in the football league. Since then they have been promoted three times in six seasons.

"This club was on its knees six years ago, we had nothing," Howe told the BBC. "A group of supporters put their money in their pockets to keep the club alive and they are reaping the rewards. It is the club I watched as a kid, the club that gave me an opportunity in the game as a player and a manager. It shouldn't be them thanking me, it should be me thanking them. It is a family club and deserves its moment in the sun."

The arrival of Russian billionaire Maxim Demin as the club's new owner in 2011 gave the Cherries the financial stability they craved, although their most expensive signing is 23-year-old striker Callum Wilson, who arrived from Coventry in a £3m deal, £56.7m less than Manchester United paid for Angel Di Maria last year.

That's the quality of player Bournemouth will be facing in four months' time, but Mostyn was quietly confident that the Cherries will be able to mix it with the big boys next season. "I think we'll survive," he said. "We are going up with Watford [the Championship leaders] and we've got four points from them this year, we beat QPR last year and we should have got more points from Burnley. The way we play football we'll enhance the Premier League and I think of any team that has been promoted in recent years, we have as much chance as any of staying up."

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